Aviation traffic to spike during solar eclipse - FOX Carolina 21

Aviation traffic to spike during solar eclipse

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(file/FOX Carolina) (file/FOX Carolina)

Hotels and campsites in the path to totality are booked ahead of the Aug. 21 total eclipse. Roadways will be packed with traffic as people flock to the Upstate to experience the event - but a good amount of air traffic is expected as well.

A lot of small airports report they’re fully booked for the eclipse and can’t accept any more landings. At the Greenville Downtown Airport, pilots don’t have to make requests to land ahead of time so officials aren’t sure exactly what to expect. But they’re ready for whatever the eclipse brings.

Airport Director Joe Frasher says he’s received a lot of interest and gotten phone calls from as far away as Seattle about flying into Greenville for the eclipse.

“We actually considered doing an eclipse event here,” says Frasher. “But we received so much interest from pilots that we decided we’d be pretty occupied just taking care of the flying community."

Frasher says the Greenville Downtown Airport is expecting a huge crowd to fly in for the eclipse. The airport has quit taking reservations so landings will be accepted on a  first come, first served basis. As for what it’s technically like to fly in the path of a total eclipse, we didn’t find any pilots who’d had that experience but we’re told it shouldn’t be any different than landing at dusk.

One pilot told FOX Carolina he didn’t know if he’d experience the eclipse from the ground or from the sky, but he’ll be watching the weather forecast closely.

“If it’s overcast we’ll fly above the clouds to see it,” he said.

When it comes to how flights at Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport might be affected, we’re told that depends on the airline.

For example, Southwest has five flights crossing the path of totality during the eclipse and the airline is promoting the event with viewing glasses and “cosmic cocktails.” Spirit Airlines is offering solar eclipse bargain fares to Myrtle Beach and two other cities in the path of totality.

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